The dodgeball community never ceases to amaze me. My experience with people who play this sport, across the country, is consistently positive. In the past year, I have come to discover that Winnipeg is not unique in how welcoming and supportive our dodgeball players are.
Recently, we hosted a Halloween tournament. It was a ton of fun, and we also got the pleasure of meeting Paul Laking and the folks from Dodgeball Edmonton. They told us about the Edmonton scene, after doing very well in our tournament. One of them had the hardest throw I’d ever seen, while at the same time screaming at the top of his lungs each time he released the ball. During the after party, we learned that – Much like Winnipeg – Edmonton has an entrenched Rec League with larger balls and extraneous rules. That being said, Edmonton appears to be all about the rubber balls.
It was interesting to see that even though the way they play is somewhat different, everyone was just as open to meeting new people and had no problem adjusting their play to the different balls. Much like our own scene, there was little in the way of complaining about differences, and instead we all exchanged thoughts and feedback afterwards in a friendly way. I have never experienced another sport where people are so open to trying new things.
Dodgeball Edmonton’s league uses smaller rubber balls that are easier to throw and cause less injuries, and they brought one for us to try. It made me think that, down the road, perhaps we will try a rubber ball division. After playing with it, it wasn’t as scary as I had thought. It also made me think that our sport has so much room to grow. There are different rules and ball types to try, different styles of organizing players (draft and team) and in the end, I find myself excited to try them all.